Hebrews 9:24 Today’s Place for Worship

Hebrews 9:24
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

 

Someone challenged me the other day and said that I could not prove that Jesus left Judaism. I offer this verse as proof to the contrary.

 

The Bible says Christ did not enter into those holy places made by men, but into heaven itself. The passage goes on to tell us that all those man made structures were to prefigure that which is real in heaven. They were not real in and of themselves – ever.

 

But we are not in heaven, someone will argue. That is true. Today we have a new place to worship in; a place not constructed by the hands of man but built by Christ Himself. He promised He would build His church. That’s not a building of wood or stone. His building is made up of men and women who:

  • have professed faith in Christ
  • been baptized by immersion as a sign of their faith and
  • committed themselves together in union for His cause

 

That’s a Baptist Church!

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 9:24 We Worship Today in a Baptist Church

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Pressing Forward to the End

Philippians 3:13-14 KJV

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

What a unique outlook is the apostle’s considering that he was in prison facing near certain execution. Under such circumstances a person might have spent his time looking back. Indeed, in Paul’s second letter to he does glance back to recall;

2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:[1]

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Paul did not view the end of his life on earth as the end of anything. Nor did he, in the shadow of his own gallows as it were, give up. He continued

  • to press forward
  • to think ahead
  • to set a mark and reach for it.

 

Hope in Christ changes how we view the final times of life. It makes every moment of breath matter. There is no time when we view life as invaluable and meaningless because the last moment on earth is one that may still be used toward the eternal moments of heaven. We live in a state of constant progression rather than reaching a point where we begin to decline because we know that, for the believer, there is no end; only a new beginning.

[1] But even in this there is a forward-looking turn as the apostle announces and for the sake of other promises.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Eternal Rewards

Proving the Acceptable

Ephesians 5:10 KJV

Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

We prove those things that are acceptable unto the Lord by practicing them, by doing them and thus observing their resulting consequences.

Gill writes, “There are many things that are acceptable to God, as

  • the person of Christ, 
  • his righteousness, sacrifice, sufferings, death, and mediation;
  • the persons of his people, 
  • their services, sufferings, sacrifices of prayer, and praise to him, and of bounty and liberality to the poor;
  • their graces, and the exercise of them; and 
  • the actions of their lives and conversations, when they are becoming the Gospel, are according to the will of God, and are done in faith, and are directed to his glory: 

… are acceptable to God…”

 

By walking as children of light we become an experiment serving to test, try and prove those things that are acceptable unto God.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

 

Christian duty

The Biblical Use of Emotional Appeals

Ephesians 4:1 KJV

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

 

Paul had said in Ephesians 3:1 that he was a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ “for you Gentiles”. Here he uses that as a motivation for both his plea and their doing of it.[1]

 

Appeals based on emotional and heart rending circumstances are often criticized in modern Christianity. It is, however, undeniable that:

  • They can be effective
  • They were used effectively by Christ and Apostle Paul
  • Therefore they may be used in a Scriptural, effective and ethical manner

[1] The argument can be made that the “therefore” of this refers the reader to the great doctrinal truths of Ephesians chapter three. I do not deny this to be the case but only add to it that Paul’s mention of being a prisoner at the beginning of chapters three and four must have “hit home” in the hearts of these first century believers to whom Paul originally addressed this letter. Therefore his being a prisoner must have relevance in his “therefore”.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

emotional appeals

Confrontational Preaching

Ephesians 3:1 KJV

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

 

There is a popular radio talk show host[1] who frequently refers to his audience as “you people”. I have always gotten the impression that it is a derogatory and demeaning phrase; at least in the sense that he uses it.

 

Paul used a similar phrase in the word, “you Gentiles”. He was in prison and it was for the Gentiles. He wanted them to sense the personal responsibility, the weight of effect of taking the Gospel outside of Israel and to them.

  • It had cost him politically
  • It had cost him in his career
  • It had cost him his reputation
  • It had cost him his own blood kinship

 

In obeying the Lord to take the gospel to the Gentiles, Paul had distanced himself (though not of his choosing but theirs) from the Jews, including those Jews who had accepted Christ as Saviour. Though they[2] knew what he preached was true, his preaching it placed a burr under their beast’s saddle. Paul made Christianity uncomfortable for them.

  • His outreach into the Gentile populace had exposed him to great danger and
  • His stand had placed him in the middle of a controversy between the unbelieving Jews and the Gentiles at Jerusalem.

This controversy would lead eventually to his execution.

 

But notice that Paul’s intent was not accusative. Paul was not angry at the Gentiles. Being confrontational[3] was not the same as being hateful or mean spirited. It was direct, intended toward conviction and the sort of personal responsibility that leads to action.

 

This, I would say, is the correct use of preaching:

  • Direct
  • Bold
  • Confrontational and
  • Purposeful

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

[1] I assume he is still popular, I haven’t heard his program in years but see reports with his name from time to time.

[2] The believing Jews

[3] “you Gentiles”

preaching